The requirement for motorists to have an MOT check on their vehicles every year could be scrapped as part of plans to ease the cost of living crisis after Boris Johnson asked ministers to suggest policies that would not cost no money in the treasury.
The Prime Minister used a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday to brainstorm ideas with his ministers, producing a series of blue sky proposals which will now be considered by a cost of living committee which he will chair.
Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, has suggested increasing the length of MOT certificates, which are currently valid for 12 months.
If the policy becomes law, it could save motorists £54.85 a year, which is the legal maximum cost of a test, although test centers are free to set their own prices. Technical inspections are required every year for most cars over three years old.
A source who attended the Cabinet meeting told the Telegraph: “If we move from an annual check to a check every two years, that cuts the cost of renewing the MOT in half. It is a bread and butter policy that shows the Conservatives are on your side.
Changes being considered to reduce childcare costs
Other ideas suggested include an increase in the number of children each childminder is allowed to look after at a time, which ministers say will reduce the cost of childcare.
The cost of childcare in Britain has skyrocketed over the past decade, with the cost of looking after a child under the age of two rising by a third to £137.69, according to data from the Family and Childcare Trust.
The policy has already been launched by the Department for Education and its proponents point out that UK childcare ratios are among the highest in the world, while UK childcare is among the most expensive in the OECD.
Childminders in Britain can only look after six children under eight at a time, while childcare providers can look after three children under two or up to 13 years of more than three years.
Ministers are also considering relaxing tariffs on imported foods that cannot be produced in the UK, such as rice, although the policy could be blocked by the Treasury as it would reduce customs revenue.
Cabinet committee to study options
The policies will now be reviewed by a Cabinet committee on the cost of living, chaired by Mr Johnson, which will examine their feasibility and determine whether they could be implemented at no cost to the taxpayer.
Additional measures that will affect departmental budgets are expected later this year, but will likely be announced by Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, in his autumn budget.
Treasury sources have already indicated that additional cost-of-living aid will be announced to coincide with a planned increase in the Ofgem energy price cap, which is being revised again later this year.
Changes could worsen costs for drivers
The AA on Tuesday criticized the suggestion that MOTs could only be required every two years because they could lead to higher repair bills for motorists who do not detect problems with their vehicles early enough.
A spokesperson for the group said: “Although well intentioned, moving the annual expenditure of £55 for an MOT to every two years could add to the costs for drivers with higher repair bills, make our roads more dangerous and create jobs in the risky garage industry.
“It was only recently that the government backed away from having the MOT every two years for road safety reasons, while AA polls show overwhelming support from drivers who love the safety that a track record of annual health.
“The MOT now also highlights major and dangerous faults, showing how important it is to keep cars in a safe condition. »
Mr Johnson told Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting that there was “more to be done, including in areas like childcare, to further ease the pressure on those who need it most and to bring even more people into high-skilled, high-paying jobs.”
Mr Johnson would not be determined whether the government would change childcare rules, but said schools should take advantage of an existing tutoring scheme.
“It’s a fantastic thing,” he said. “We have offered millions and millions of tutoring opportunities that we want to offer over the next few years. But for the moment, only 60% of schools have actually subscribed to the tutoring offer.
Mr Sunak reportedly warned against increased government spending, stressing “the importance of not fueling further increases in inflation”.